20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds

Khalid Elhassan - January 16, 2019

People are usually complex, and throughout history, other than at the extremes of the moral spectrum, few significant figures have been either all good or all bad. Most have led lives in which the good was mixed with the bad, to various degrees. Some otherwise bad people have done good things, that muddied the waters of history’s judgment of them, or eclipsed the bad altogether. And otherwise good people, have done terrible things that, likewise, muddied history’s judgment of them, or eclipsed their good deeds altogether. Following are twenty world-changing figures, who committed monstrous acts.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Erwin Schrodinger. Ysfine

20. Erwin Schrodinger Impregnated His Teenage Students

Erwin Schrodinger was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, famous for his quantum superposition thought experiment in which a cat, sealed in a box with poison and radioactive material, is somehow simultaneously alive and dead, until the box is opened. Schrodinger also made serious contributions to the fields of quantum physics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, general relativity, and cosmology. When he was not busy with scientific stuff, Schrodinger was living a depraved private life that would have landed him on a sexual offender registry today.

Erwin Schrodinger was married but found his wife unattractive, so he took on a string of mistresses. He also kept a series of black books, in which he detailed his sexual escapades. While morally repugnant, that was not criminal. What was criminal was the “lolita complex” ascribed to Schrodinger by biographers. Among other things, he groomed a pair of 14-year-old twins whom he was tutoring, by petting and cuddling them, before impregnating one of them. She was forced into a catastrophic abortion.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Arthur Rudolph, with a model of the Saturn V rocket. Wikimedia

19. The Father of the Saturn Rocket Was a War Criminal

German rocket engineer Arthur Rudolph was brought to the US in 1947 as part of Operation Paperclip, which sought to make use of German scientists. He joined Wernher Von Braun at NASA as a top manager, and became known as the “Father of the Saturn Rocket” that sent American astronauts to the Moon. Unfortunately, Rudolph was a Nazi war criminal, who had supervised a slave labor facility in which more than 20,000 workers died of beatings, starvation, executions, and other mistreatment.

He was designated a war criminal by Allied officials, who described him as an “ardent Nazi”, but that did not stop the US Army from bringing him to the US. It was only in 1979 that Rudolph’s past finally caught up with him, when Department of Justice investigators took a look at his Nazi past. He did not help himself when he told a reporter: “I read Mein Kampf and agreed with lots of things in it…Hitler’s first six years, until the war started, were really marvelous“. He eventually cut a deal that spared him prosecution in exchange for surrendering his US citizenship and leaving the country.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Jerry Lee Lewis and his 13 year old bride. Pintrest

18. Jerry Lee Lewis Married His 13-Year-Old Cousin

Jerry Lee Lewis began recording rock and roll in 1956, and became world-famous soon thereafter for There’s a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, and the insta-classic Great Balls of Fire. Then things went downhill when he married Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin. That was not considered extreme back then in Lewis’ native Louisiana, so he was not worried about a scandal. Lewis was warned not to take his child bride with him on his first European tour, but he ignored the warning.

Arriving in Britain in 1958, he introduced Myra to reporters as his wife, but claimed she was 15 – still shockingly young. When Myra’s true age was discovered, the backlash was fierce. The British press labeled Lewis a “baby snatcher” and “cradle robber”, urged a boycott of his concerts, and called for his deportation as a child molester. Tour dates were canceled, and Lewis and Myra were forced to flee back to the US, where the press was no kinder. Lewis had experienced a meteoric rise, and at the peak of his career, had rivaled Elvis. It crashed and burned spectacularly, and his personal appearance fees dropped from the then princely sum of $10,000 a night, to $250.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Titian’s ‘Pope Paul III and His Grandsons’, 1546. Wikimedia

17. Pope Paul III Had Sex With His Own Daughter

Paul III, Pope from 1534 until his death in 1549, took office when the papacy was at a nadir and encouraged reforms that saved the church. On the other hand, he was a corrupt pervert. Born Alessandro Farnese, he began his church career as a protege of Giovanni de Medici, the future pope Leo X. He ended up in Rome, where he pimped out his sister to become the mistress of the corrupt cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, the future Pope Alexander VI. When Borgia made him a cardinal, Farnese was mocked as “Cardinal Fregnese” (Cardinal Cunt), while his sister was mocked as “the Bride of Christ”.

Farnese continued his rise, and in 1534, he was elected pope, taking the name Paul III. He inherited a mess: the Protestant Reformation was growing, Italy had been ravaged by rampaging armies, and Rome had been recently sacked. To his credit, he stabilized the situation. On the other hand, he was notoriously corrupt, openly sold offices to the highest bidders, and took charge of Rome’s prostitutes, taking a cut of their earnings. He was also sexually promiscuous, with the added twist that his most notorious lover was his own daughter, Costanza Farnese.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Thomas Jefferson. Biography

16. Thomas Jefferson Committed Rape, Pedophilia, and Incest With His Dead Wife’s Lookalike Sister

Thomas Jefferson was a complex figure. He penned some of history’s most stirring words in advocating freedom, liberty, and equality, which have inspired idealists for centuries. He also pursued his happiness in a hilltop plantation, Monticello, leading a life of luxury, made possible by the labor of hundreds of chattel slaves. Jefferson also had a creepy relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings, that today would be considered straightforward rape, as Hemings was kept in bondage by a brutal system in which violence was used to coerce compliance.

Making it worse was the age disparity between the duo: he was 44 when he started having sex with her, while she was 14. Adding another layer of creepiness, Jefferson’s child concubine was also his dead wife’s sister and lookalike. Sally Hemings was born to a slave woman and John Wayles, Thomas Jefferson’s father-in-law. That made her the biological half-sister of Jefferson’s wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson. Sally, who was 9 when her half-sister died, bore a striking resemblance to the deceased Martha, and the resemblance only increased as she grew. Jefferson missed his dead wife, so when her lookalike sister was 13 or 14, he started raping her.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Friedrich Kaulbach’s ‘The Coronation of Charlemagne’, 1861. Wikimedia

15. Charlemagne Was Into Incest and Necrophilia

Charlemagne was one of medieval Europe’s greatest figures, who unified much of western and central Europe into what became known as the Carolingian Empire. In 800, he was crowned by Pope Leo III as “Emperor of the Romans” – the first in a line of Holy Roman Emperors that would last until 1806. Charlemagne was also a weirdo, who was into incest and necrophilia. He had an incestuous relationship with his sister Gillen, and fathered upon her a son/ nephew, named Roland.

Sleeping with his sister was not the worst of it: Charlemagne also reportedly had a thing for sleeping with corpses. A variety of texts from the ninth century refer to Charlemagne repeatedly engaging in, but refusing for a long time to confess to, some “unspeakable sin“. He eventually got it off his chest, and sought absolution for what some modern scholars think was a predilection for necrophilia. That gave rise to legends in which Charlemagne’s partiality to corpses extended from sexually satisfying his lusts with random corpses, to sleeping with his wife’s corpse after she died.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
A cartoon from the 1884 presidential campaign, about the Halpin scandal. Wikimedia

14. An American President Who Went to Extraordinary Lengths to Silence His Victim

Grover Cleveland was the only American president to serve two non-consecutive terms, winning the 1884 election, losing in 1888, then winning in 1892. He was also known for surviving a sex scandal that would sink any Democrat today. It began in 1873, when Cleveland, then a prominent Buffalo lawyer and former Sheriff of Erie County, invited Maria Halpin to dinner at a restaurant. After a pleasant meal, he escorted her back to her boarding house, where he raped her, then threatened her into silence. A few weeks later, Halpin discovered she was pregnant, and eventually gave birth to a baby boy.

When she named Cleveland the father, he had the child seized and placed in an orphanage, and had Halpin committed to a mental asylum. She was released after an evaluation concluded that she was not insane, and had only been sent there in an egregious abuse of power by corrupt officials. Cleveland got away with it. He went on to get elected Mayor of Buffalo, then Governor of New York, before running for president in 1884. A chant by opponents, mimicking a baby crying “Ma! Ma! Where’s my Pa?!” dogged Cleveland. He won, however, and his supporters retorted with the counter chant: “Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Fatty Arbuckle. Fine Art America

13. Fatty Arbuckle’s Wild Partying

Fatty Arbuckle was a superstar comic actor of the silent film era. Weighing about 300 pounds, he made a career out of tumbling, throwing pies, and being a lovable and jolly fat guy. He also liked partying with loose women, which ended up destroying his career and reputation. In 1921, Arbuckle and friends rented adjacent luxury suites in a San Francisco hotel, and invited several women, including prostitutes and aspiring actresses. An invitee, Virginia Rappe, was found acting strangely in a suite. A hotel doctor determined that she was extremely drunk, and gave her a shot of morphine to calm her.

Two days later, she was rushed to a hospital, and a friend told doctors that Arbuckle had raped Rappe. She died the next day of peritonitis, caused by a ruptured bladder. Newspapers had a field day, with some claiming that Fatty Arbuckle had crushed Rappe with his excessive bulk while raping her. Others alleged that Arbuckle had penetrated Rappe with a piece of ice, or a bottle of Coca-Cola, or a bottle of champagne. Arbuckle denied any wrongdoing, but he was arrested and charged with essentially having raped Rappe to death. After two trials ended in hung juries, he was eventually acquitted. Although exonerated, his reputation never recovered, and his career was over.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Hitler at a meeting with IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson, second from left. Computer History Museum

12. Thomas J. Watson, IBM’s Visionary CEO

Thomas J. Watson, IBM’s CEO from 1914 to 1956, oversaw its growth into an international giant. He also put his company’s cutting-edge technology at the Nazis’ disposal, to facilitate the Holocaust. In 1933, soon after Hitler took power, Watson traveled to Germany to oversee the building of an IBM factory, and the establishment of a local subsidiary. After Germany’s conquest of Poland, Watson personally approved a request to supply Germany with specialized machines to help exploit that country and deport Polish Jews. Exterminating Europe’s Jews was administratively complex, involving the management and cross-referencing of huge databases of financial records, criminal files, and what interested the Nazis the most, Jews.

The was only doable with a complicated punch card system, similar to that used in libraries until relatively recently. IBM was the leader in punch card and data management technology. Even after America joined the war in 1941, archival records reveal secret correspondence of IBM higher-ups to set up a Dutch subsidiary, through which the company could continue supplying the Nazis. By then, it was clear how the Nazis were using IBM’s technology, but the company continued supplying them with the capabilities to easily identify Jews and other undesirables.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Ferdinand Porsche demonstrating a Volkswagen to Hilter in 1938. Flickr

11. Ferdinand Porsche Was Hitler’s Favorite Car Designer

Germany’s automobile industry in the 1930s was geared towards luxury cars that were beyond the means of most Germans. Ferdinand Porsche, a famous racecar and luxury automobile designer, sought to interest manufacturers in his design for a small and affordable family car. In 1933, Porsche built his concept car, a forerunner of the VW Beetle, which he named the Volksauto. It had a torsion suspension, and a beetle shape, with a rounded front hood for better aerodynamics to compensate in part for a small air-cooled rear engine.

After the Nazis came into power, Hitler jumped on the “people’s car” bandwagon. In 1934, the Fuhrer issued a decree for the production of a basic car capable of transporting two adults and three children at 62 mph, while costing only 990 Reichsmarks – about U$ 400 in the 1930s. Hitler fell in love with Ferdinand Porsche’s design, but Germany’s auto industry could not produce a car for that price in its existing plants. So Hitler ordered up a state-owned factory to produce the Volkswagen, paid for through a savings plan that put the new car within the financial means of most Germans.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Hugo Boss Nazi uniforms. So Bad, So Good

10. Hugo Boss Made the Nazis Look Snazzy

Fashion designer Hugo Ferdinand Boss was an enthusiastic Nazi who devoted his talents to making Nazis look dapper. He founded a textile factory in 1923, and one of his early big contracts was to supply uniforms to the Nazi Brown Shirts. He joined the party, and when the Nazis took power, Boss was on the inside track when the new regime began awarding clothing contracts. By the time WWII began, Hugo Boss was outfitting the SS, SA, Hitler Youth, German rail workers, postal employees, as well as the German army, navy, and air force.

He used hundreds of slave workers to meet wartime production demands. Working conditions were dreadful, and the slave laborers were insufficiently fed, received inadequate medical care, and lived in unsanitary barracks infested with lice and fleas. During air raids, they were not allowed into shelters but had to remain in the factory. Those who tried to flee were sent to even more dreadful places if captured, such as Auschwitz. After the war, Hugo Boss was fined, and prohibited from running a business, so he was forced to transfer the company’s ownership and management to his son in law.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, published in Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent. Wikimedia

9. Henry Ford Was a Notorious Antisemite

Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry. He was also so anti-Semitic that Hitler praised him in Mein Kampf. Ford believed that Jews were conspiring to take over the world, so he purchased and published a weekly newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, that had a decidedly anti-Jewish bent. Ford required all of his car dealers to stock his newspaper, which helped shoot its circulation up to 900,000 by 1925, second only to The New York Times. Hitler referred to him as “my inspiration“, and kept a photo of him atop his desk. In 1938, Ford was awarded The Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal Nazi Germany bestowed on foreigners.

Ford had no problem doing business with Hitler’s Germany. When WWII began, Ford professed himself neutral, but his actions belied that claim. Before America joined the war, Ford supplied Germany with war materials but declined to supply the British RAF with aircraft engines. In addition, Ford’s plants in Germany used slave workers in order to meet the demands of the German war effort. The US Department of Justice concluded that there was a basis for a criminal case against Ford’s son, Edsel, for trading with the Nazis, but he was spared that by his death in 1943.

Read More: Nazi-inspired Inventions.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Victims of the 1942 – 1943 Bengal Famine. Facts Legend

8. Winston Churchill and the 1942 Bengal Famine

Winston Churchill is celebrated for his tenacity against the Nazis. However, Churchill was a complex man, with more to him than the year or so when he and Britain held the line against Hitler, until joined by the USSR and USA. During a public career that lasted six decades, Churchill had no shortage of missteps, or outright monstrosities, that jarringly contrast with the nobility of his WWII heroics. One such monstrosity was his handling of the 1942 Bengal famine, which killed about 3 million Indians.

Relief efforts were hampered by Churchill’s decision to divert food shipments intended for the starving Bengalis to already well-supplied British soldiers. Simultaneously, offers of Canadian and American food aid to the starving Indians were turned down, while India was prohibited from using its own funds or ships to import food. Indeed, India was made to export over 70,000 tons of rice in the first half of 1943. When informed that millions were dying in India, he churlishly replied: “Then why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?” Indeed, he seemed viciously gleeful about it. As he put it: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits“.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Eric Gill. Otago University

7. Font Creator and Arts and Crafts Movement Heavyweight Eric Gill

You might be reading this on a font created by Eric Gill, an English sculptor, printmaker, and type face designer, who created many fonts that are in use today. Gill also played a leading role in the Arts and Crafts Movement, which popularized the use of folk styles of decoration. He was also a pervert, who had converted to Catholicism in 1913, and like many newcomers to religion, he became a zealot, loudly and ostentatiously professing devoutness to his new faith. Gill founded a lay Catholic religious order with his wife and others, and went around wearing habits, with a chastity girdle beneath.

The chastity girdle was ironic, seeing as how Gill was into bestiality, incest, and pedophilia, was addicted to prostitutes and abused his maids. One of Gill’s most famous sculptures, Ecstasy, depicts a couple passionately entwined. The model was his own sister, with whom he had a lifelong incestuous relationship. Some of his most celebrated artwork was used as models for his own prepubescent daughters, whom he liked to draw nude in semi-erotic poses. Gill’s diary detailed his escapades: extramarital affairs, decades of sex with his sisters, incest with two of his daughters, plus bestiality with his dog.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Gilles de Rais. Pintrest

6. Joan of Arc’s Right Hand Man Was an Out and Out Monster

Joan of Arc’s right-hand man was Gilles de Rais, a respected knight and beloved national hero. He was assigned to guard Joan of Arc, fought in several battles at her side, and became her chief lieutenant. King Charles VII honored Gilles de Rais by naming him Marshall of France. He retired from the military in 1434, but soon dissipated his wealth with reckless spending. To raise more cash, he turned to alchemy in the hope of turning base metals into gold. He also turned to the serial rape, torture, and murder of children.

In 1440, de Rais kidnapped a priest. That triggered an investigation, which revealed that the celebrated hero had been murdering children by the hundreds. He lured lower-class children to his castle with gifts, and after they were fed and pampered to put them at ease, the children were led to a bedroom where they were seized by Gilles and his accomplices. As he confessed, he derived sadistic pleasure from watching their fear when he revealed what was in store for them: torture, sodomy, and murder. He was executed by burning and hanging, and his deeds inspired the fairy tale of Bluebeard, about a wealthy serial-wife killer.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Wernher von Braun, enjoying a Coca-Cola. Historical Media

5. Father of the Space Age, and Nazi War Criminal

Wernher von Braun was a visionary genius who created America’s space program. We went to the Moon, and might someday colonize space, because of him. He was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of slave workers, who perished while building his rockets in WWII. Before moving to the US, von Braun had been an SS officer who developed and built the world’s first ballistic missiles, the V-2 rockets, which killed thousands of civilians in London, Antwerp, and elsewhere. After the war, he put on an oblivious scientist act, pretending to have been too focused on his work to have fully understood the horrors of the regime he served.

In reality, von Braun personally supervised the manufacturing of rockets, using tens of thousands of slave laborers, about 20,000 of whom died of starvation, maltreatment, or were murdered by SS guards while building his rockets. He was brought to America after the war in Operation Paperclip, which sought to make use of Nazi scientists, regardless of their wartime activities. He was instrumental in developing America’s ballistic missile program, and the rocket that launched America’s first space satellite. He joined NASA, oversaw the Saturn V rockets that got us to the Moon, and received the National Medal of Science in recognition.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Emanuel Leutze’s ‘Storming of the Teocali’, 1848. Pintrest

4. Hernan Cortes Conquered an Empire Through Treachery, Massacre, and Genocide

En route to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes subdued the natives en route. Those who resisted were massacred, as occurred in the city of Cholula, which rampaging Spaniards destroyed, while killing up to 30,000 Cholulans. By the time he reached Tenochtitlan, Cortes had a large army of natives, surrounding his core of Spaniards. Foolishly, the Aztec ruler Montezuma II invited Cortes and his men into his palace and plied them with lavish golden gifts, which only ignited their greed. Cortes treacherously seized his host, and keeping him a hostage, ruled the Aztec Empire through the captive emperor.

Soon thereafter, Cortes had to leave Tenochtitlan to deal with rival conquistadors and left behind a Spanish garrison. In Cortes’ absence, his garrison massacred thousands of Aztecs in Tenochtitlan’s Great Temple, triggering an uprising. Cortes rushed back to Tenochtitlan and trotted out the captive Montezuma in an attempt to placate the natives, but the livid Aztecs stoned the puppet ruler to death. Cortes fled Tenochtitlan, then returned with a powerful army that demolished the city in bitter fighting. The natives became serfs, and between massacres, mistreatment, overwork, and Old World epidemics, their population crashed from an estimated 30 million when Cortes arrived, to a mere 3 million by 1568.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Albrecht Wallenstein. Wikimedia

3. Albrecht Wallenstein and His Mercenaries Devastated Central Europe

Albrecht Wallenstein (1583 – 1634), a Bohemian soldier who approached warfare as a business, devastated Central Europe during the Thirty Years War. Although a Protestant, he took service with the Catholic Hapsburgs in 1604, and earned a reputation for military brilliance. When the Thirty Years’ War broke out, the Protestant-born Wallenstein calculated that serving the wealthier Catholics would prove more lucrative than fighting for the Protestants. So he offered his services and an army of 30,000 to 100,000 mercenaries to the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II.

Wallenstein then wrecked the Protestant cause in his native Bohemia, before wrecking Protestants in western and northern Germany. His mercenaries lived off the land, looting, raping, pillaging, massacring, and turning Germany into a nightmarish mess. Fears that he was preparing to switch sides led the Emperor to remove him from command in 1630, which allowed the Protestants to stage a comeback. The Emperor, reasoning that a potentially treasonous general was better than incompetent ones, recalled Wallenstein, who stabilized the situation. However, he grew resentful of his treatment, and when he displayed an intent to switch sides and defect to the Protestants, the Emperor had Wallenstein assassinated in 1634.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Pizarro and his men capturing the last Inca. Montgomery College

2. Francisco Pizarro Conquered an Empire and Committed Atrocities

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro kicked off his conquest of the Incan Empire by treacherously seizing its ruler, Atahualpa, at a meeting on November 16th, 1532, in a plaza in the town of Cajamarca. Pizarro set off to meet Atahualpa with 110 infantry and 67 cavalry, armed and armored with steel, plus three arquebuses and two small cannon. Atahualpa arrived on a fine litter, trailed by about 5000 Inca nobles and courtiers, richly dressed in ceremonial garments, and unarmed except for small ceremonial stone axes. The Spaniards fell upon Atahualpa and his party at a signal from Pizarro.

The unarmored natives were massacred, and Atahualpa was captured. He tried to ransom himself by offering to fill a room up to a height of eight feet with gold, and twice with silver. The Incas gathered gold, silver, jewels, and other valuables to placate the Spaniards, who proved insatiable and kept upping their demands. After the payments were made, Pizarro put Atahualpa through a sham trial, that convicted him of rebellion, idolatry, and murder. Atahualpa was sentenced to death by burning, but was spared that fate by agreeing to get baptized as a Catholic, and was strangled to death instead.

20 Historical Figures Who Changed The World, and Also Committed Monstrous Deeds
Peter the Great’s mistress, Mary Hamilton, awaiting execution, by Pavel Svedomski. Wikimedia

1. Peter the Great Was Into Terrorizing The Women In His Circle

Russian Tsar Peter the Great got a kick out of showing the women around him just who was boss. In 1698, a lover of Peter’s sister, Sophia, whom the Tsar had exiled to a monastery, led a failed uprising, seeking to replace him with Sophia. Peter brutally suppressed and broke the rebels, who were tortured and executed by the thousands. Peter played an active part in the executions, personally chopping off heads with an ax in Moscow’s Red Square. He also strung up the bodies of executed rebels in Sophia’s monastery and left the corpse of her lover dangling from a rope outside her window.

Two decades later, when Peter’s mistress, mistress Mary Hamilton, got on his wrong side, he had her arrested and charged with abortion, infanticide, theft, and slandering the empress. After she was beheaded, he had Mary’s head pickled in alcohol. In 1724, when rumors circulated that Peter’s wife, empress Catherine, was having an affair with her secretary, Peter had her alleged lover beheaded. He then had the head preserved in alcohol in a large glass jar, which he placed in Catherine’s bedroom.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

All That is Interesting – Gilles de Rais, the Child Serial Killer Who Fought Alongside Joan of Arc

BBC – Hugo Boss Apology For Nazi Past as Book is Published

Chicago Tribune, September 24th, 1985 – Deported Nazi Scientist Still Has Many Supporters

Cracked – 5 World Changing Geniuses (Who Were Also Total Monsters)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Paul III

Guardian, The, April 9th, 2017 – Eric Gill: Can We Separate the Artist From the Abuser?

History Today – Albrecht von Wallenstein

Moore, Walter J. – A Life of Erwin Schrodinger (1994)

National Geographic History Magazine, December 18th, 2018 – The Cortes Conquest

PBS American Experience – Ford’s Antisemitism

Washington Post, July 7th, 2017 – Sally Hemings Wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s Mistress. She Was His Property

The Irish Times – Erwin Schrödinger In Dublin: Physicist, Womaniser, Fugitive

National Geographic Channel – The Physics Behind Schrödinger’s Cat Paradox

Scientific America – This Twist on Schrödinger’s Cat Paradox Has Major Implications for Quantum Theory

Smithsonian Magazine – The Skinny on the Fatty Arbuckle Trial

Sfgate – The Death of An Actress In San Francisco. What Happened in Room 1219?

Spigel – Porsche and Volkswagen’s Nazi Roots

Bridge Michigan – Henry Ford and The Jews, The Story Dearborn Didn’t Want Told

Rare Historical Photo – Henry Ford Receiving the Grand Cross of The German Eagle from Nazi Officials

OZY – The Serial Killer Who Fought Alongside Saint Joan Of Arc

Atlas Obscura – The Modern Movement to Exonerate a Notorious Medieval Serial Killer